Roma Inclusion in Education Specialist, Chisinau At UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Fund

Closing date: Monday, 28 August 2023


Description of assignment title: Roma Inclusion in Education Specialist

Assignment country: Republic of Moldova

Expected start date: 09/01/2023

Sustainable Development Goal: 4. Quality education

Volunteer category: National UN Volunteer Specialist

Host entity: UNICEF Moldova

Type: Onsite

Expected end date: 03/01/2024

Number of assignments: 1

Duty stations: Chisinau


Mission and objectives

UNICEF has been working for the realization of the rights of children and women of Moldova since 1995. Partnerships with the government, parliamentarians, civil society, media, business and others have resulted in advances in the realization of children’s rights in a number of areas and the increased commitment of duty bearers to the fulfillment of their obligations as per the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). UNICEF’s work addresses issues of all children in the country to improve their health, education, development, and protection.


The Roma population is considered one the most disadvantaged minority not only in the Republic of Moldova but across many other countries in Europe. For the Roma population in the Republic of Moldova and according to the UNDP report published in 2007, the Roma population tend to be growing faster over the years. Early marriages among Roma in Moldova also continues to be a worrying trend; the minimum marriage age for the Roma is 15 years old for both men and women. Roma education and literacy levels in Moldova fall well short of the national average; every fifth Roma cannot write and read, while a person with college or higher education is a rarity. In addition, employment and activity levels of the Roma population is much lower than that of the non-Roma population, while the low education level of the Roma results in low qualifications and low-income employment. Similar to the access barriers Roma population faces in Moldova, Roma refugees arriving from Ukraine are also confronting major barriers into their integration to Moldovan society. According to the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) approximately 10-20% of the Roma Ukrainian Refugees are stateless or at risk of statelessness. When it comes to education, only a small percentage of Roma children (including Refugee Roma) in Moldova are managing to complete primary education and a very few are continuing their secondary and tertiary education. They also drop out of school significantly more often than their non-Roma peers. Moreover, Roma refugee children have disproportionally weaker learning outcomes. They are often absent from school or leave school earlier with minimum qualifications, which could be tied to the fact that many Roma children attend classes separate from non-Roma children or attend Roma-only schools in Roma neighborhoods; schools that already struggle with lower quality of teaching and lack of resources both technically and financially. The access barriers to education for Roma both in Ukraine and Moldova are (but not only) connected to their socio-economic factors related to poverty and low-income generating jobs. In addition, cultural norms, child marriage, discrimination, illiteracy of caregivers and general lack of interest to enroll their children in schools are also other considerable factors for Roma children to stay out of schools. Perceived as a way to protect young girls and as a valued tradition, child marriage continues to expose girls to the major health and protection risks including early pregnancy and childbirth, high risk of domestic violence leading to eventually dropping out of the school. In addition to the access barriers, data and information regarding Roma population are underrepresented; there is general lack of needs assessments concerning the situation of Roma people mainly regarding the rights of the child, including education, health, and nutrition, and living conditions, resulting of Roma children (mainly girls) to be more exposed to higher protection risks and vulnerability.

Task description

Purpose of the assignment: To ensure the cross-sectoral inclusion of Roma children within education as well as other basic services, UNICEF Moldova Country Office is recruiting the UN Volunteer to provide technical and operational support to UNICEF MCO and Roma-focused partners. The Volunteer will support UNICEF MCO in better identifying the Roma children’s needs in Education and develop a tailored cross-sectoral response. The UN Volunteer will also be closely working with the Roma-focused partners in strengthening their technical capacities through provision of trainings as well as fundraising and advocacy efforts at local and national levels. The selected candidate will report to the Education Specialist, who will regularly communicate with the UNV and provide feedback and guidance on his/her performance and all other necessary support so to achieve objectives of the assignment, as well as remain aware of any upcoming issues related to the performance and quality of work. All activities and deliverables undertaken by the UN Volunteer shall be discussed and planned in consultation with UNICEF MCO. The UN Volunteer is expected to deliver each component of the workplan electronically (in Word format) in Romanian, English and Romani. At each stage, the deliverable shall be sent to the Education Specialist by email, with the Deputy Representative in copy. The successful candidate selected for this assignment will implement tasks that consist of the following tasks, which are split into two phases: Phase 1: – Conduct secondary data review and needs assessment to identify the needs of Roma children including refugees in education in the Republic of Moldova. – Based on the main findings of the needs assessment, develop an action plan with key deliverables and timeline. – Provide capacity building trainings to the Roma-focused partners in coordination with the Roma Task Force on several technical topics including but not limited to fundraising, proposal development, program monitoring, reporting and advocacy efforts on local and national levels. – Strengthen coordination among the local and national authorities and the partners as well as provision of support in the advocacy efforts. Phase 2: – Work closely with UNICEF MCO education team and cross-sectorial with Child Protection, Health and Nutrition and WASH sections to strengthen inclusion of Roma children including refugees with the current Country Program. – Develop a project proposal for Roma children inclusion in Education based on the main findings of the needs assessment, identified gaps and geographic locations. Other tasks and responsibilities related to the phases mentioned above, can be assigned to the UN Volunteer depending on program needs and operational context. The UN Volunteer will be working closely with the UNICEF MCO Education Team and in coordination also with the Roma Task Force and the Education Working Group helping to achieve the below deliverables against the identified timeline within the 6 months of the assignment. Tasks: – Initiative discussion with Roma-focused partners and UNICEF MCO Education, health, Child-protection, Child Rights Monitoring, Social Protection and Communication sections on access of Roma children to social services the need for the inclusion of Roma children in Education. – Conduct secondary data review for available information, assessment and reports concerning Roma children. – Develop needs assessment tools in close coordination with UNICEF MCO education team and in coordination with the Roma Task Force. – Roll out the needs assessment – Compile and analyse data collect – Draft a report on the main needs assessment findings. – Ensure proper dissemination of the needs assessments findings with the relevant stakeholders – Develop an action plan in consultation with the main stakeholders from the various line ministries, task forces and local public authorities based on the assessment’s main findings – Capacity building program developed and delivered for Roma-focused partners – Mapping of potential funding mechanisms available to support the inclusion of Roma children within the Moldovan education system. – Project proposal development and submission based on the needs’ assessment main findings. Deliverables: – Needs assessment report finalized and disseminated to relevant stake holders (August-October 2023). – Action plan developed and disseminated with clear objectives and timeline (November 2023) – Capacity building trainings delivered to Roma-Focused partners (November 2023) – Mapping of main funding mechanisms available for accessing financial resources targeting the inclusion of Roma children in the education system (November 2023) – Project proposal developed and submitted (October – November 2023) Performance indicators for evaluation of results: The performance of work will be evaluated based on the following indicators: – Completion of tasks specified in the assignment task description – Compliance with the established deadlines for submission of deliverables. – Quality of work. – Demonstration of high standards of cooperation and communication with UNICEF and with counterparts.

Eligibility criteria

Age: 27 – 80


Candidate must be a national or legal resident of the country of assignment.


Required experience

3 years of experience in Education policy development. – Proven experience in leading cross-sectoral education teams or another social field. – Proven experience of displaying very good analytical skills (copies of previous strategic, analytical works involving multidisciplinary teams to be provided). – Demonstrated knowledge of the education system in Moldova is a strong asset. – Demonstrated knowledge or pervious work with Roma inclusion is an asset. – Familiarity with international, EU and European Commission policies and benchmarks in education and best European practices in the field of education as well as policies and frameworks regarding Roma inclusion – Demonstrated experience of work with the Government of the Republic of Moldova in developing education strategies or other social field is an added-value.

Area(s) of expertise

Education, Social work, Development programmes

Driving license


English, Level: Working knowledge, Required Romanian, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Bachelor degree or equivalent in Education, Social Sciences or related field

Competencies and values

  •  Accountability
  •  Adaptability and flexibility
  •  Creativity
  •  Judgement and decision-making
  •  Planning and organising
  •  Professionalism
  •  Self-management
  •  Strong communication skills
  •  Good teamwork skills
  •  Problem solving and critical thinking

Other information

Living conditions and remarks

Moldova is located in close vicinity to the war-affected Ukraine, with a “frozen conflict” in Transniestria region that dates back to 1990s. In spite of this, the country is not directly affected by (nor engaged in the military conflict), except for growing cost of living like in other countries in the ECA Region. According to the UN grading, the country has currently 3 (three) security level (totally safe). Chisinau is the largest and capital city of the Republic of Moldova (herein Moldova). There is availability of various types of dwelling for rent, including apartments and hotels. Chisinau is a safe town with normal living conditions having access to all urban infrastructure, i.e. healthcare facilities, shopping, airport, railway and other transportation etc. Chisinau city is small, easy to commute and navigate, while the whole country is easy to travel around. UNICEF Moldova office premises are adapted for people with disabilities. Additional accommodations for the candidate with disabilities can be arranged upon request. UN Volunteer entitlements and allowances: The purpose of the allowances and entitlements paid to UN Volunteers is to enable UN Volunteers to sustain a secure standard of living at the duty stations in line with United Nations standards without incurring personal costs. The allowances are in no way to be understood as compensation, reward, or salary in exchange for the UN Volunteer’s service. For more information on entitlements please read the Condition of Service ( For information specific to your assignment please see below: Please note that the amounts can vary according to fluctuations of the monthly post adjustment. Monthly Living Allowance (Per month): MDL 14,516.91 Entry lump sum (one-time payment): USD 400 Exit allowance (for each month served, paid on completion of contract): MDL 1,209.74 Medical and life insurance: Cigna Private Insurance Leave entitlements: Annual leave: 2.5 days accrued per calendar month Leaves indicated below are established for 12 months contracts. For contract periods of less than 12 months, the Leaves will be prorated: – Certified sick leave: 30 days – Uncertified sick leave: 7 days – Learning leave: 10 working days per consecutive 12 months – Maternity Leave: 16 weeks – Paternity Leave: 10 days

Inclusivity statement

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

Reasonable accommodation

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for UN Volunteers with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the recruitment process and afterwards in your assignment.

Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements

In addition to duty station-specific vaccine requirements, appointments are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the appointment. It does not apply to UN Volunteers who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their contracts.


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